Pharmaceuticals: Over-the-counter innovation

Posted on August 4, 2010

How do you reinvent a medicine to comply with strict regulations yet stand out in the busy over-the-counter market? Smart new packaging formats are a good place to start, finds Gordon Carson.

…Pharmaceutical firms may also turn to new packaging formats to update and reinvigorate their OTC brands. For example, last year Bayer became the first pharma firm to use the Burgopak pocket pack, for the launch of a new product in the Rennie range, Rennie ICE. The pack opens in one slide to reveal 12 tablets in two separate blisters, plus the patient information booklet.

Burgopak chief executive Tim Clarke says the format is attracting interest from other major players in the pharma market for OTC products, with another, unnamed firm launching two products in the Burgopak soon. “There’s not much differentiation in the market and pharma companies see it [the Burgopak] as a point of differentiation,” he says.

Clarke says the integration of the patient information leaflet with the pack overcomes some common problems with OTC packaging. “Often when people open a standard carton the patient information leaflet is wrapped around the blisters and you have to remove it before you get the blister out,” he says. “Having done so, it can be difficult to get both back in the box so people throw the leaflet away. Even if the product is well known, you can pick up the pack three months later and want to know how much you should take.”

Clarke applauds Bayer for committing to launch a new product in a format not previously adopted by pharma companies, and before the first automated Burgopak machine had even been delivered to Brecon Pharmaceuticals in Hay-on-Wye.

A second Burgopak machine is currently being built by Bosch to be installed by McKesson, the US drugs giant, later this year. With Brecon owned by McKesson’s rival AmerisourceBergen, Clarke is delighted with the backing for Burgopak so far…

To read the full article, go to Packaging News.